A majority of mobile subscribers in Europe is using Wi-Fi instead of cellular networks to access mobile data when away from home, according to new research.
The Actix survey, which sampled 1,000 subscribers in the UK, France, Germany and Brazil, found that 55 percent are choosing Wi-Fi on their devices. The figure rose to almost 65 percent in the UK.
“We know from our own mobile analytics that mobile data usage is climbing rapidly,” commented Neil Coleman, Director of Global Marketing at Actix. “What this research indicates is how much of that data is bypassing mobile networks themselves.
“Unfortunately use of Wi-Fi by subscribers gives operators less clarity around network and capacity issues, making it difficult to deliver a consistent customer experience.”
Coleman warned that operators will lose control of their subscriber’s experience if they “get into the habit” of reverting to the mobile network only when they cannot get a Wi-Fi signal.
“Operators need to better curate their customer experience, to be aware of where and why Wi-Fi offload occurs, and they need to establish methods for ensuring it no longer happens by chance.”
RAN analytics vendor Actix recommends that operators improve the methods they use to identify specific locations where capacity, coverage, or quality issues may be driving subscribers to jump to Wi-Fi.
Earlier this year, research conducted by Actix showed that LTE enabled handsets generated 35 percent of all 3G data traffic in European markets.
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